The first step to a memorable Christmas turkey is to buy a quality bird, such as a Kelly Bronze. Not only do you get incredible flavour from these slow-growing turkeys, but they are plucked and hung in such as a way as to prevent any bacteria getting in. Amazingly, this means that they could — technically — be enjoyed pink!
START YOUR PREP
Load and light your EGG, set up for indirect cooking with the ConvEGGtor in place. Target temperature is 180˚C.
Pace your chopped veg in a Drip Pan to provide the aromatic base for a gravy.
Season your turkey with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Remove any giblets, and add them to the Drip Pan. Massage the bird all over with butter.
Place a Roasting Rack onto the Drip Pan. Cradle your turkey in the rack breast-side down to keep it moist and remove the need for regular basting.
Pour cold water over the vegetables and giblets. This will create the stock for your gravy and keep your turkey succulent.
COOK YOUR TURKEY
When your target temperature of 180˚C has been reached, place the turkey into your EGG, positioned towards the back. Leave it to roast for 1 hour.
Burp your EGG and remove the Drip Pan. Pick the turkey up by the legs and carefully flip it over to sit breast-side up. Top up the stock with more water if needed. Return the Drip Pan to the EGG.
After a further 30 minutes, burp your EGG again. With a Quick Read Thermometer, take temperature readings at the deepest part of the breast and the thickest part of the leg. Continue to take regular temperature readings at 10-15 minute intervals.
KEEP ON CHECKING
Once the thickest part of the leg reaches an internal temperature of 63˚C, remove the turkey from the EGG and rest it on a wooden board, uncovered.
Strain your Drip Pan into a saucepan, forcing as much of the soft veg through a sieve as you can. Over a high heat, reduce the gravy to your preferred consistency. Season to taste.
While it’s resting, the bird’s internal temperature will continue to rise; you’re aiming for a final temperature of 63˚C in the breasts and 70˚C in the legs.
Once it’s there, you’re ready to carve. For maximum juiciness, completely remove the breast from the turkey and slice it against the grain.
Top 10 Turkey Tips
Not all turkeys are created equal. Always invest in a slow-growing, free-range bird. Not just because it will have had a better quality of life, but because it will have had time to develop a depth of flavour a million miles from the dry blandness of industrially reared turkeys.
Cold turkeys will seize up when cooked. Take yours out of the fridge 2 hours before you intend to cook it, so that it can reach room temperature.
Flavour starts with the fuel. Make sure you choose a quality lumpwood charcoal, free from accelerants and chemicals that will taint the flavour of your turkey.
Consider adding a handful of woodchips or chunks. Pecan or Apple work particularly well. Simply soak them in water and add to the coals at the start of your cook.
Place your turkey in the EGG on a Roasting Rack so the heat can circulate all around it and the skin is able to crisp up.
Cook the turkey breast-side down at first. The juices from the bones will run down into the breasts, keeping them nice and moist. Flip the bird over half way through.
Add a roasting tray underneath with chopped veg and 2 litres of water, so that you can catch all the cooking juices and make delicious gravy.
Once your turkey is cooking, leave it alone as much as possible. Try to resist opening the lid of your EGG as this will affect the internal temperature. Just set it to 180°C, and walk away.
Always cook to temperature, not time. Invest in a thermometer so that you can take your turkey out when the legs reach 70°C and the breasts reach 63°C.
For tender meat, be sure to rest, rest, rest. If you cut into a very hot piece of meat, all the juices will come pouring out of it. By allowing your turkey to rest for 30 minutes to an hour, you give it time to relax and retain its juices. Removing the breast from the turkey and slicing it on a board against the grain will also do wonders.